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good and perfect gift," he cries out with St. Peter, "Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness" we had performed what appears to excite your astonishment? "The God of our fathers hath," upon this occasion, "glorified his Son Jesus: and the faith, which is by him,” hath effected this extraordinary work in the presence of you all. On all occasions he can say with the great Apostle: "Do I seek to please men? if I yet pleased men," unless for their edification," I should not be the servant of Christ. With me it is a very small thing, that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment. But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts. Neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others." By such a conduct he distinguishes himself, as a faithful ambassador of the blessed Jesus, who expressed himself in the following lowly terms, to those, who had reproached him with a spirit of self-exaltation: "I do nothing of myself, but as my father hath taught me, I speak these things. I seek not mine. own glory; there is one, that seeketh and judgeth. If I honour myself, my honour is nothing. It is my Father, that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that He is your God.

There may be peculiar cases, in which a ministring servant of GOD may be allowed to call upon christians, for a public testimony of their approbation; and when this is refused, he is justified in modestly calling their attention to every past proof of his integrity and zeal. Thus St. Paul, as a proper means of maintaining his authority among the Corinthians, who had manifested an unjust partiality toward teachers of a very inferior order, entered into a long detail of those revelations and labours, which gave him a more than ordinary claim to the

respect of every church. But whenever he commended himself, he did it with the utmost reluctance, as one constrained by the peculiarity of his circumstances to act in immediate contrariety to his real disposition. Hence, whenever he recounts the particular favours, with which God had honoured him, he speaks in the third person, as of another man: "Of such a one will I glory; yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For we dare not make ourselves of the number of those, who commend themselves, measuring themselves by themselves," without any reference to the excellent graces and endowments of others. "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he, that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Nothing affords greater satisfaction to false. apostles than commendation and praise; while the true minister shrinks with horror from those very honours, which they assume all the forms of Proteus to obtain. When the multitude, led by their admiration of a faithful preacher, follow him with unsuitable expressions of applause, he meets them with unfeigned indignation, arrests their impious plaudits, and rejects their idolatrous adulations, crying out with St. Paul...." Sirs! why do ye these things? we also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God." We are neither the way, the truth, nor the life: but we point you to that way, which the truth has discovered, and through which eternal life may be obtained, entreating you to walk therein with all simplicitly and meekness. And remember, that instead of affecting in our discourses that vain wisdom, which the world so passionately admires, we faithfully proclaim Christ: and, to humble us the more before God and man, "we preach Christ crucified."

By this humble carriage the ministering disciples of Christ are principally known. By this they copy the amiable example of John the baptist, who cheerfully humbled himself, that Christ might be exalted, crying out in the language of that self-renouncing teacher...." Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! There standeth one among you, whom ye know not, whose shoes latchet we are not worthy to unloose. We baptize with water: but he baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Beware then of entertaining too high an idea of our ministry; and remember, that "He must increase" in your estimation, "but we must decrease."

After beholding John the baptist, who was accounted greater than any of the prophets, abasing himself in the presence of Christ; and after hearing St. Paul, who was far superior to the Baptist, exclaiming in the humility of his soul...." I live not; but Christ liveth in me" can we sufficiently express our astonishment at the conduct of those titularapostles, who either set up a vain philosophy in the place of Christ, or employ the cross of their Lord, as a kind of pedestal, for the support of those splendid monuments, by which their pride is endeavouring to perpetuate the memory of their eloquence. Self-conceited orators! When shall we rank you with the faithful ministers of the humble Jesus? When shall we behold the character you have assumed, and the conduct you maintain sweetly harmonizing with each other? When shall we hear you addressing your flocks, with the unaffected simplicity and condescension of the great apostle: "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and," far from levating ourselves above you, on account of the commission we have received, "ourselves your servants for Jesus sake." Then we might with propriety salute you, as humble imitators of St. Paul, as zea


lous ministers of the Gospel, and as faithful servants of that condescending Saviour, who " not to be ministered unto but to minister.




TRUE christians are distinguished from Jews, Mahometans, and all other worshippers, by that spirit of universal love, which is the chief ornament and glory of their profession. But among evangelical pastors this holy disposition appears in a more eminent degree. They feel for the inconsiderate, and the sinful, that tender compassion, of which Christ has left us an example. Their conduct answers to that beautiful description of charity, with which St. Paul presented the Corinthian church, and which may be considered as an emblematical representation of his own character, from the time of his conversion to the christian faith. Universal love is that invigorating sap, which, passing from the true vine into its several branches, renders them fruitful in every good work. But this divine principal circulates through chosen ministers, with peculiar force, and in more than ordinary abundance, as so many principal boughs, by which a communication is opened between the root and the lesser branches.

The faithful pastor entertains an affecting remembrance of those benevolent expressions, which the good Shepherd addressed to the apostle Peter, and in the person of that apostle to all his successors in the ministry, repeating them even to the third time: "Lovest thou me? Feed my Sheep." As though he had said, the greatest proof you can

possibly give of your unfeigned attachment to me, is, to cherish the souls, which I have redeemed,. and to make them the objects of your tenderest regard. Such is the affectionate precept, which every faithful minister has received together with his sacred commission, and to which he yields a more ready and cheerful obedience, from a firm dependance upon the following solemn declaration of his gracious Master...." When the Son of man shall come in his glory, he shall say" to all the children of love," Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done good unto one of the least of these my brethren," whether their wants were corporeal or spiritual, " ye have done it unto me"

The love of the evangelical pastor, like that of St. Paul, is unbounded. God, saith that charitable apostle," will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth: I exhort, therefore, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." But not content with submitting to the exhortation of St. Paul, with respect to the duty of universal prayer, he endeavours to copy the example of that apostle, in labouring for the salvation of all men : "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Being by regeneration "a partaker of the divine nature," he bears a lovely, though imperfect resemblance to his Heavenly Parent, whose chief perfection is Love. Like the High Priest of his profession, he breathes no thing but charity; and like the Father of lights, he makes the sun of beneficence to rise upon all men. To describe this lesser sun in its unlimited course, and to point out the admirable variety, with which it distributes its light and its heat, is to delineate with precision the character of a faithful pastor.

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